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  • Writer's pictureLoveday Funck

Prioritizing Healing

For a long time, I've been pouring my heart and soul into creating my oracle deck, a project that is deeply meaningful to me. But recently, I realized that I need to take a step back. Recovering from domestic abuse is a challenging journey, and I've reached a point where I need to prioritize my well-being.

This wasn't an easy decision. My oracle deck provides me with a source of passion and purpose, but I also recognize that I'm pushing myself too hard. The emotional toll of my experiences is overwhelming, and I need to create space for healing.

That's where art and poetry came in. Unlike the structured nature of my oracle deck project, these creative outlets allow for a more intuitive and emotional exploration. Putting pen to paper or picking up a paintbrush becomes a way to process the complex emotions I am grappling with.

Through these creative pursuits, I can begin to rediscover a sense of peace and self-expression. Each brushstroke, each written word, becomes a step on my healing journey. It isn't always easy, but allowing myself to be vulnerable and express my emotions authentically is incredibly empowering.

This is just the beginning of my healing journey, and I know there will be ups and downs along the way. But I know that I am not alone in this struggle. There are so many of us out there grappling with the same pain and the same emotional traumas.

Taking this break from my oracle deck project isn't about giving up on that dream, but about creating the space I need to heal and come back stronger. It's a journey of self-discovery, and I am grateful for the creative outlets that are guiding me on the path toward healing and hope.

In my recent poking around on the internet looking for support and information, I came upon a list of the "Eight Stages of Healing from Emotional Abuse". Of course, I can no longer find the article and I imagine that the information is not the most scientifically valid, BUT it gives me a starting place for my own journey, even if that starting place is primarily an art series.

The first stage was described as "Denial."

  • Understanding: In this initial stage, it's incredibly difficult to accept the reality of the abuse. Victims often find themselves in disbelief about their abuser's harmful behavior.

  • Common Thoughts: "They didn't mean it that way," "Maybe I'm overreacting," or "Things will get better." This is a fictionalized account of what my "Denial" stage looked like:

Rain pattered against the window, mimicking the rhythm of Olivia's shaky breaths. Picking up a pen, she began to write, her words spilling onto the page like long-suppressed tears. It was a story of love, loss, and the insidious nature of manipulation.

He had come to her as a wounded wolf, draped in the tattered cloak of past trauma. He spoke of a controlling mother, a disastrous first marriage, and years spent battling the demons of childhood abuse. Olivia, with a heart as open as the sky on a summer's day, believed him. His words, laced with charm and vulnerability, were a siren song, luring her into the treacherous waters of his carefully constructed narrative.

The early days were a whirlwind of love bombing. He showered her with compliments, his words sugary sweet and heady. He called it "his love language," but the gifts that followed were like discordant notes in their symphony. Ugly bottles, devoid of any thought or effort, arrived in plastic bags, price tags still clinging to them like mocking reminders. Even the music, her beloved soundtrack, became a battleground. His "musician's ear" deemed her choices inferior, his criticisms disguised as humor, chipping away at the foundation of her self-worth.

Olivia, blinded by love's rose-colored filter, dismissed these as harmless quirks, the endearing eccentricities of a complex soul. But the cracks began to show, like fissures in a seemingly solid wall. His pronouncements of self-loathing, delivered in theatrical outbursts, left her feeling powerless and voiceless. When she tried to voice her concerns, his emotional manipulation would leave her bewildered and silenced.

It was a slow, insidious process, akin to a spider weaving its web. The seemingly innocuous comments, the dismissive gestures, the orchestrated displays of self-pity – each thread, individually insignificant, bound her tighter in the web of his control. It was only when she finally tore off the rose-colored glasses, the rain washing away the blurred vision, that Olivia saw the true picture. He wasn't the wounded wolf he portrayed, but a cunning predator, disguised in the sheepskin of vulnerability.

Now, as the rain continued its quiet symphony, Olivia wrote. With each word, she shed a layer of the past, her narrative weaving a tapestry of resilience and truth. She would not be defined by the shadows of his abuse. She would rewrite her own story, one where the music played to her own rhythm, and the gifts were chosen with love, not indifference. The journey would be long, but with each pen stroke, Olivia knew she was reclaiming her power, her voice, and her life.

Denial is a lot more than just a river in Africa.

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